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Temple Israel Early Childhood Center
14 Coleytown Road
Phone: (203) 227-1293
Fax (203) 454-2292
Temple Israel is a vibrant Reform Jewish congregation located in Westport, Connecticut. Every day, the voices of approximately 800 member families fill our building with their energy, curiosity and prayer. We have a rich, 60-year history of community, stability and growth. Today, like many reform synagogues, we are also a congregation facing a changing world. We are committed to meeting the present and future needs of our ever-evolving membership
The Temple Israel Early Childhood Center offers quality early care and education for children two to four/five years of age. The professional staff, including the Director and experienced teachers, is primarily responsible for ensuring that the physical arrangement and daily schedule and routines are designed to meet both individual and group needs. Within this environment, children are encouraged to make their own choices and participate in both self-directed and planned learning experiences.
The classroom environment is welcoming, stimulating and challenging. Problem solving, experimentation, and social relations are nourished through the use of developmentally appropriate materials and learning experiences. These are acted out in the following manner: blocks, dramatic play, water and sand, art, cooking, music and movement, small and large motor activities, science, social studies, outdoor play and language/literacy experiences. The professional staff applies its broad range of training and experience in early childhood education methods to promote the development of each child.
We feel that parent involvement is essential to ensure your child’s success. The teachers and parents work together in a partnership for the child’s best interests. Communication between these partnerships is very important and is emphasized throughout the school year through the parent bulletin board, weekly newsletter, conferences, email reminders and daily interactions.
KATANTY is Temple Israel’s youngest youth group experience. Kids in grades 2-5 are invited to participate in events ranging from bowling to rock climbing to crafts and pizza dinners after religious school.
KATANTY focuses on helping our youngest religious school students become more independent and begin to develop a Jewish identity while making sure they are doing fun activities.
Grades K – 5
Kindergarten students begin their education by learning about the Torah and the holidays we celebrate through stories, crafts, music and games. They are introduced to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and begin to acquire a vocabulary of Hebrew words with connection to the synagogue and Jewish holidays. The concepts of tzedakah and mitzvah are presented in active, hands-on ways that encourage children to embrace these values.
First grade students delve deeper into the stories and the important people introduced in the Torah through engaging, hands-on activities. Using art, music and storytelling, they learn about the symbols and customs of Shabbat and other holidays. Students begin to study Hebrew letter sight and sound recognition, and start to acquire a Jewish vocabulary. Ethics and values are introduced through lessons and projects that focus on doing mitzvot.
Second Grade (Bet)
Second grade students learn the major themes of the Torah through varied lessons and hands-on activities. They explore the rituals and the meaning of the symbols we use to celebrate Shabbat and other holidays. God-talk enters the curriculum in second grade. Children are encouraged to think about, talk about and ask questions about how they feel about God. Storytelling, music and creative projects enliven every lesson. Students also begin to master Hebrew letter and vowel recognition through reading readiness materials.
Third Grade (Gimel)
Third grade students learn how to read and print Hebrew using primer materials. Their ability to participate in the rituals of the holidays expands as they master reading and reciting Shabbat and holiday blessings in Hebrew. Students go beyond the surface of the stories in the Torah to learn the moral and ethical lessons of our traditions. Third graders engage in lessons that encourage doing mitzvot outside of the classroom. Music, children’s services, art and storytelling enhance the learning experience. Third grade features a special family program and ceremony focused on the tradition of giving children Hebrew names.
Fourth Grade (Daled)
Fourth grade students explore the idea of the special Covenant between God and the Jewish people as described in the Book of Genesis and expressed in our life cycle events. Children learn ethical lessons as they are introduced to the Biblical Prophets. They also begin to develop their Hebrew prayer reading skills. During a special fourth grade Shabbat service, each student will receive a personalized copy of our prayer book.
Fifth Grade (Hei)
Fifth grade students are introduced to the vast and fascinating subject of Jewish history. Students learn about the diversity of Jewish communities around the world through creative lessons, activities and projects. They examine and discuss the lessons of our weekly Torah portions. Students also explore ethical dilemmas to which they must apply Jewish values in judging the solutions. They continue strengthening their Hebrew reading and language skills while learning the central portion of our Shabbat liturgy. A highlight of the year is when students bring Jewish history to life by creating their own Living Museum comprised of Jewish objects from their own homes. Families are invited to participate.